"Mechanical books should look like ordinary books. Their success is to be measured by the ingenuity with which their bookish format conceals unbookish characteristics." - Iona and Peter Opie
Pop Up books were first published for adults. The first evidence of a movable book was in1306 when Catalan writer Ramon Lull used a revolving disk to demonstrate his technique. Books on anatomy used folding flaps, landscape design books demonstrated before and after views, but mostly the paper engineering was used to illustrated factual text. Only in the 18th Century were the techniques used to entertain children.
Contemporary pop ups are still illustrating complex facts. This one charts the development of a city – each page corresponding to a new phase.
Paper architecture is tackling the most difficult subjects - this one features a scale model of the CERN Large Hadron Collider (not functional, sadly) and a pop up of the entire universe (including dark matter).
What terrifies you? Speaking in public? Falling from a high building? Clowns? These terrors come at you right out of the page. Judge for yourself how therapeutic an experience this is...
If you want to get a real sense of being stabbed in a shower, experience the pop up version of the work of the master of terror, Alfred Hitchcock
Pop ups have been made by artists as well as book designers. Andy Warhol made one. Naturally it features a pop up soup can.
And a deeply strange work of pop up art by a 19th Century inventor and artist Neville Colmore that few children would enjoy.
Pop up books are a great vehicle for superb and innovative design. Here one that uses the alphabet book as a vehicle.
Libraries are the place where ideas begin. Many of the best ideas, artistic leaps, inventions and breakthroughs have been inspired by the contents of public libraries and yet, like many of the vital contributions that the library makes to the wider community, the effect is unseen so how could that link be made visible?
Amazon’s customer reviews and suggestions are widely used and can be quite helpful if taken in balance. However, because of the way people often make book purchases, the adjacencies (people who bought this also bought….) don’t always reflect personal reading tastes.
Public art is often commissioned for public libraries. Large library buildings offer the urban space to make a big statement at the entrance or in the foyer. The art has to live up to the expectations of the City – they are very prestigious and very visible.
Library book trolleys - book carts in the US – come in a variety of styles but the majority do one thing but nothing much else. Great for moving a load of books from A to B – they are large, cumbersome and inflexible when not in use.
Readers often say that they love the scent of old books. "A combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness” is how an international team of chemists describes the particular smell of decaying tomes.
Libraries of one kind and another seem to be popping up everywhere. They are creative reactions to library closures and lack of funds and also new routes and locations for book sharing.